This project looks at the impact that the internet has had on society, and how it has shaped the way that digitally native generations live their lives. More specifically, this thesis showcases what it means for younger generations to be digitally native and how engaging with technology while growing up affects the way that these individuals experience contemporary adolescence. Generation X is said to be the last group of people to experience life before the spread of the personal computer and internet access. Newer generations, such as Generation Z, have grown up having constant and easy access to the internet, all of the information it encompasses, and its additional functions. This access has shaped much of the generation as individuals as well as society as a whole. It can be argued that the human experience has been fundamentally different for those born after the creation of the internet and the rapid increase in accessible technology that followed. Through an interview with a participant from Generation X, I will showcase the transformative role that the internet and technology has played in major life events for a digitally native individual compared to that of individuals from older generations. As a member of Generation Z, I will compare my personal narrative regarding ten different life events occurring between the ages of five to 25 that I feel are common and impactful to the narrative a of non-digitally native individual. I expect to see that the internet and the creation of cyber culture that we see through social media has enhanced many of the defining events for younger generations growing up in some positive ways as well as some negative ways. Thus, growing up only knowing the internet and its purposes has altered the way that our experiences play out as we age, for good and for bad.
- The Generational Impact of the Internet and Technology
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